I can’t believe I never took my camera to work at the construction site. I mean, I suppose I can, because really it wasn’t a good place to be getting all artsy, given both the dirtiness of the environment and the attitudes of so many coworkers. Still, there were moments that will live on forever on in my memory and I wish I’d documented the experience with a photo.
I saw the most beautiful things, sights made more beautiful by the dirt and disarray that surrounded me. All through the spring, I watched dawn break over the city from the half-finished towers where I was installing conduit for the electrical system. By mid-April, when I was trusted alone for long periods of time, I made a point of stopping my work when the sun first rose, just to greet it. I was on my own in a wing on the seventh floor of the building, which was still a concrete shell that rumbled continuously with the vibrations of the levelling they were doing with jackhammers down on fourth. Power tools screamed in the distance, men shouted, the construction elevators groaned, and occasional thuds marked the arrival of another load of bricks on the roof, courtesy of the three giant cranes. I could hear all this through the foam plugs that blocked my ears and made them itchy for hours after my shift ended. Despite the noise, everything felt still when the sunlight first hit the area where I worked, as though the touch of orange light on the grey surfaces was enough to keep all that activity at bay. I put down my drill and rested on my ladder, leaning against it while watching the colour creep across the walls. The dust suddenly seemed less hazardous, and my body ached less, and I smiled.
[This post marks Day 3 of Reverb 10, a blogging initiative in which I am surprised to find myself taking part. Maybe I’ll stop tomorrow. Maybe I won’t.]